President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Major-General Farouk Yahaya as the new Chief of Army Staff.
This is according to a statement signed and released on Thursday by military spokesperson Brigadier-General Onyema Nwachukwu.
Prior to his appointment Major-General Yahaya was the General Officer Commanding 1 Division of the Nigerian Army and the incumbent Theatre Commander of the Counterterrorism, Counter-Insurgency military outfit in the North East code named Operation HADIN KAI, the statement said.
His appointment comes days after the immediate past army chief, Lieutenant-General Ibrahim Attahiru died in a Kaduna air-crash along with 10 other military officials. In his response to the incident, President Buhari had described the late officers as ““heroes who paid the ultimate price for peace and security in the land.”
They were buried last Saturday at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja. Major-General Yahaya’s appointment comes as the country continues to battle several security challenges, including but not limited to an insurgency in the North-East, banditry in the North-West, secessionist agitations in the South-East and Fulani-Herdsmen crises across the Middle-Belt and several South-West states.
A ‘Distinguished’ Officer
The new COAS was born on January 5, 1966, in Sifawa, Bodinga Local Government Area of Sokoto state. He is a member of the 37 Regular Course of the prestigious Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA). Major-General Yahaya started his cadet training on 27 September 1985 and was commissioned into the Nigerian Army Infantry Corps on 22 September 1990.
He has held several appointments including Staff, Instructional and Command. Notable among the appointments held by the new COAS are Garrison Commander Headquarters Guards Brigade, Directing Staff at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), Deputy Director Army Headquarters Department of Military Secretary, Deputy Director Army Research and Development and the Chief of Staff, Headquarters Joint Task Force Operation Pulo Shield.
He also served as the Principal General Staff Officer (PGSO) to the Honourable Minister of Defence, the Commander, Headquarters 4 Brigade and 29 Task Force Brigade (Operation Zaman Lafiya), Director Manpower at the Army Headquarters, Military Secretary, Army Headquarters and General Officer Commanding (GOC) Headquarters 1 Division of the Nigerian Army.
Major-General Yahaya is also a proud holder of several honors and awards, some of which include: Forces Service Star, Meritorious Service Star, Distinguished Service Star, Grand Service Star, Passed staff course (Dagger), National Defence Course (Chile), Economic Community of West Africa State Monitoring Group Medal, Command Medal, Field Command Medal, General Operations Medal, Silver Jubilee Medal and Golden Jubilee Medal.
He is happily married and blessed with children.